Medellín Convention & Visitors Bureau Honored with DMAI’s 2017 Destination Leadership Award

Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) honored the Medellín Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) with the Destination Leadership Award at the 2017 Worldwide Meetings and Incentive Travel Exhibition (IMEX) Gala Dinner and Awards. This prestigious award is given to a destination organization that demonstrates significant leadership and support of its community. 

The Medellín CVB has been recognized for its instrumental efforts in engaging with its community leaders, developing key strategies, supporting community development and leading the way in driving the evolution of the destination.

“The Colombian city of Medellín has undergone a remarkable transformation and is now a world-class example of urban innovation,” said Chairman Gary C. Sherwin, CDME and President and CEO of Newport Beach & Company. “Medellín is open to the world as a differentiated destination that offers unique experiences and DMAI is pleased to present the city with this distinguished award.”

“With over 700,000 visitors in 2016 and its highest hotel occupancy in 10 years, Medellín is demonstrating continued and rapid growth as a destination for business and leisure travel. Visitors are discovering Medellín and experiencing a city that has undergone a remarkable transformation,” said Don Welsh, President and CEO of DMAI. “Tourism continues to deliver key growth to Medellín, creating new jobs and generating significant economic impact. With the Medellín Convention & Visitors Bureau’s innovative strategies led by Ana Maria Gallego Martinez, its focus on public-private partnerships and its strong team, DMAI envisions sustainable growth well into the future.”

Medellín has received the recognition of the best destination for holding events in South America for 2014 and 2015, and in 2016 was awarded as South America’s Leading City Break Destination by the World Travel Awards. The city has housed world-class events such as the World Urban Forum (2014), the World Tourism Organization General Assembly (2015) and the World Economic Forum (2016), among others.

In 2016, 87 events (66 percent international) were held in the city, which was 30 percent more than in 2015, producing an estimated income of $25 Million (USD) to be received between 2016 and 2021. Additionally, the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) recently reported that Medellin saw the largest growth compared to other cities in the Western Hemisphere from event tourism between 2007 and 2016. The city boosted the number of gatherings hosted by 320 percent, from a dozen in 2007, to more than 40 last year.

“We want to continue contributing to the growth of the city-region as a world class -tourist destination, both for leisure tourism and for meetings,” stated Ana Maria Gallego Martinez, Manager of the Medellín Convention & Visitors Bureau. “This year we want Medellín to continue growing at a higher arrival rate of travelers than the world’s rate. Colombia continues to lead in growth for arrival of visitors, which for the world was around 5 percent, for the Colombia 12 percent and 24 percent for Medellín. We are very proud of the tremendous tourism growth of Medellín and we still have big challenges to achieve. This destination has wonderful tourism potential that is needed to develop.”